Visualizing the Reading Activity of People Learning to Read

Oleg Špakov, Harri Siirtola, Howell Istance, Kari-Jouko Räihä


Several popular visualizations of gaze data, such as scanpaths and heatmaps, can be used independently of the viewing task. For a specific task, such as reading, more informative visualizations can be created. We have developed several such techniques, some dynamic and some static, to communicate the reading activity of children to primary school teachers. The goal of the visualizations was to highlight the reading skills to a teacher with no background in the theory of eye movements or eye tracking technology. Evaluations of the techniques indicate that, as intended, they serve different purposes and were appreciated by the school teachers differently. Dynamic visualizations help to give the teachers a good understanding of how the individual students read. Static visualizations help in getting a simple overview of how the children read as a group and of their active vocabulary.


eye tracking; reading assessment; gaze visualization

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